Start-ups are hard, said a panel of five entrepreneurs at the recent RMIT Start-up Seminar held at the University’s Saigon South campus.
But with passion, courage, and resilience you can bring your ideas to life, the students were told.
When asked, nearly half of the students wanted to start their own businesses. Many were already working on their entrepreneurial idea, and everyone was curious about how the panellists had achieved success.
Tran Tuan Anh, co-founder and CEO of Ticketbox, said he followed four steps: recognise the problem, come up with the solution, identify the correct business model, and position the product.
“We recognised that event organisers would pay to promote their events better in order to sell more tickets,” Mr Tran said.
“So that was when the idea of Ticketbox came along.”
By understanding the market and having insight into its demands, Ticketbox scaled up rapidly. Now, it operates in Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore – with more countries to come.
Vu Kim Yen, a graduate of RMIT Vietnam’s Bachelor of Commerce program and co-founder of COCOSIN, a local fashion brand, said that adapting to the market and being willing to take risks are also keys to success.
At first, COCOSIN sold imported clothes from Thailand and performed well, but after a while, the market began to change.
“Competitors designed and produced their own clothes, and customers appeared to prefer that model, so we decided to follow the trend and switched to local brands,” Ms Vu said.
Since then COCOSIN has released multiple collections in conjunction with Vietnamese celebrities and influencers.
On the topic of hiring and firing employees, Ms Vu shared: “When you run your own business, your mind should be strong.”
“Sometimes you’ll have to make tough decision such as firing employees.
“In these cases, you shouldn’t take it too personally or put too much emotion into it.”
Other start-up founders to take part in the seminar included Hien Nguyen, a graduate of RMIT Vietnam’s MBA program and CEO of Cosmo Laundry & Dry Cleaning; Mr Tom Nguyen, RMIT Vietnam Industry Fellow and founder of Van Tich Toys; and Calvin Lam, CEO of underwear brand iBasic.
Story: Nguyen Hai Yen